Legal Question in Construction Law in California

I am a general contractor remodoling a duplex when the owner didnt hold up to his end of the contract i presented a change order wich he rejected so i pulled my guys off of the job. No more than a week later I recieved a letter from his lawyer, who is a real estate not construction lawyer, that unless we are back on the job in 48 hours they will considered it abondoned. If I show up at the job site once a month is it still abondonment?

Asked on 6/22/10, 10:36 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

I AM a construction lawyer. My last job for a paycheck was construction and public contracts counsel in the general counsel's office of San Francisco International Airport, and I've been doing construction law for over 20 years. You are confusing "completion" with abandonment of your contract. For mechanics lien and stop notice purposes an uninterupted cessation of labor on a project for 30 days may be deemed a completion, triggering deadlines for filing and enforcing stop notices and liens. It has nothing to do with abandonment. If you fail and refuse to diligently prosecute the work to completion, you have abandoned the project. Showing up once a month and pounding a nail or two may prevent completion, but you still will have abandoned the job.

Without knowing what the owner failed to do, and how it impacts the job, I cannot advise you on what you should do, but I can guarantee that pulling your men off the job over a rejected change order is pretty much certainly not the best course of action.

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Answered on 6/22/10, 2:01 pm

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